Super 8 is a lovely lovely film. It prioritizes child like wonder and the tense moments in the wake of great creatures more than the creatures themselves. I saw it in a theatre with about eight people. Next door, Transformers 3 was packed.
Transformers is CGI porn. All action, no emotion. Super 8 is JJ Abrams (the director) making love to the opus of Steven Spielberg (producer). Uh, I think this metaphor has gone a bit off the rails.
Super 8 is the story of some kids discovering a strange creature and navigating through the chaos it wreck on their small town. Yeah, it’s a lot like E.T. The creature itself is seen mostly by its effects and the story-telling is done through characters. It’s an emotionally focused and intensely social film. Why does this matter? Because I’ve seen a lot of films where I literally do not give a shit what happens to the main characters (anything with Shia Lebouf) and would be happy to see some of the supporting characters die (Jar Jar Binks).
Super 8 stretches it a bit near the end plot wise, but let’s be honest, the whole plot is a bit out there. Dakota Fanning’s sister Elle Fanning is an amazing actress and is able to cover everything from zombie to loyal wife in the film within the film. Even a little noticed supporting actor Zach Mills is actually an amazing lead in this short film by Damon Lindelof of LOST:
The movie itself is homage to a latter day of passionate and compassionate film-making, told through the eyes of children and set in a latter-day America where everyone lived in a small town and worked at the mill. Within there there are a few trips you can take:
- How do you reconcile with a creature become a monster that only wants to go home? Apparently by coming in contact with them and saying ‘I understand, things are bad’.
- The ancients thought the heavens were full of Gods. What if there are gods in the heavens, like, what if aliens are godlike?
- Why the fuck is that guy talking on his cell phone in a movie theatre? Again?
Anyways, not to be a fan boy, but I liked it. Transformers was packed but empty, if you know what I mean. Good film making is still possible, even if the new Super 8 is a cheap camera and software like Red Giant. I mention that because they also made an excellent, character driven film, also heavily influenced by Spielberg, embedded below:
Super 8 is playing at the Liberty Lite Cinema in Kollupitiya. You can buy tickets at www.ticketslk.com.